Williams ends year with another title
• Serena Williams ended her best season in style, rallying past Li Na 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 on Sunday for her second consecutive WTA Championship and 11th title of the year.
Williams sank to her knees after firing a backhand winner on her second match point. She became the eighth woman to win 11 or more titles in a year and the first since Martina Hingis had 12 in 1997.
Williams struggled a day earlier to beat Jelena Jankovic and complained later of exhaustion after a long season.
This was Williams’ fourth WTA Championship. She also won the elite tournament, which features the eight top-ranked players, in 2001, 2009 and 2012. She is the first to successfully defend the WTA title since Justine Henin in 2007.
• Roger Federer is playing better tennis these days — just not quite good enough to win titles. Juan Martin del Potro denied Federer his hometown Swiss Indoors title for the second consecutive year, winning the final 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-4. Federer reached his first final in more than four months and showed no sign of the back problems that hampered him during the most difficult season of his career.
• Mikhail Youzhny claimed his 10th career title by beating top-seeded David Ferrer 6-3, 7-5 to win the Valencia Open. The 31-year-old Russian dominated the No. 3-ranked Ferrer throughout, breaking the defending champion and local favorite four times on the indoor hard court. Youzhny used well-placed ground strokes early on, breaking twice to take the first set. Ferrer appeared to have recovered with a break in the second, but Youzhny broke back and the Spaniard then started to berate himself after each miss. Meanwhile, Youzhny methodically kept hitting his shots and broke Ferrer a final time to go up 6-5 before serving out the match.
Perry wins playoff, AT&T Championship
• Kenny Perry made a 10-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff with Bernhard Langer to win the Champions Tour’s AT&T Championship in San Antonio. Perry and Langer each shot 5-under 67 to finish at 13-under 203 on TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Canyons Course. Perry saved par on the final hole of regulation with an 18-foot par putt. Perry extended his lead in the Charles Schwab Cup from 494 to 612 points entering the season-ending Schwab Cup Championship next week in San Francisco. The top 30 on the money list qualified for the finale, though Perry and Langer are the only players with a shot at the $1 million annuity for the points title.
• Suzann Pettersen successfully defended her title in the LPGA Taiwan Championship for her fourth tour victory of the year and third in her past five starts. The Norwegian star closed with a 3-under 69 for a 5-stroke victory over Solheim Cup teammate Azahara Munoz. Pettersen finished at 9-under 279 and earned $300,000 for her 14th LPGA Tour title.
Revolution top Crew for postseason bid
• Juan Agudelo scored midway through the first half and the New England Revolution beat the Columbus Crew 1-0 to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2009. The Revolution (14-11-9) needed to win their regular-season finale because Houston defeated D.C. United earlier in the day to also reach 51 points. New England moved from sixth in the Eastern Conference, one spot out of the playoffs, to third because it owns the tiebreaker against Houston. New England finished the season with a 4-0-2 stretch and will take on Sporting Kansas City in the first round of the playoffs next weekend.
• Peguy Luyindula had three assists and the New York Red Bulls beat the Chicago Fire 5-2 to finish with Major League Soccer’s best record. Ibrahim Sekagya scored early in the second half to help the Red Bulls (17-9-8) get to 59 points for the regular season, lifting them over Sporting KC, which had 58 points. Real Salt Lake led the Western Division with 56 points. It’s the first Supporters’ Shield for the Red Bulls, who will carry an eight-game unbeaten streak into the playoffs. They also secured a spot in next season’s CONCACAF Champions League.
LeBron’s new ad shows off Miami
• LeBron James has another Nike commercial out, detailing many of his favorite things about Miami. The spot featuring the Miami Heat star was released Sunday. Dubbed “Training Day,” it shows James riding his bike through Miami’s streets, swimming in the ocean, training on the Heat practice court, jogging through the city and playing pickup basketball on an outdoor court. Dozens of workout partners, many of them children, join in on most of his activities. James tells the Associated Press that “the message was obvious — I want people to feel like they’re at one with me.” The release of the spot coincides with the LeBron 11, his latest signature shoe. James and the two-time defending NBA champion Heat open the season Tuesday against Chicago.
Rider nabs first title and $1M in victory
• J.B. Mauney won his first Professional Bull Riders championship, earning $1 million for the season points title and another $250,000 for topping the six-round PBR World Finals. The Mooresville, N.C., rider wrapped up the season title by winning the fifth round with a 91-point ride on Harlem Shake. He finished with earnings of $1,810,711.
— From wire reports